A ceremony was held on Saturday (24 June) at the Maldives National University to celebrate the graduates of the Four Seasons Maldives Hospitality Apprenticeship Program 2023.
Some 59 apprentices graduated in different disciplines such as Food & Beverage Service, Food & Beverage Preparation, Housekeeping & Guest Services, Retail, Front Office & Recreation, PADI Dive Master, Safe Maritime Transport (SMT), Engineering, Marine Biology and Watersports.
Now in its 22nd year, the Apprenticeship Program is the longest running and most successful of its kind in the region.
The ceremony was attended by Dr Abdulla Mausoom as the Guest of Honour. Speaking at the ceremony, Mausoom thanked Four Seasons for giving hope to many young Maldivians since the inception of the Apprenticeship program in 2001. He also expressed his concern of the shortage of human resources in the country in relation to the needs of the tourism industry, one industry where he believes AI will not take over the service business.
Armando Kraenzlin, the Regional Vice President of Four Seasons Resorts Maldives congratulated the graduating class of 2023 as “the Class that included perhaps the most talented culinary apprentices we have ever had. So talented were these young people, some of them won gold and other medals in the recent national culinary competition and beat many of their much more experienced industry colleagues.”
“For the first time, and very exceptionally, we are graduating three expatriate students from the tiny Micronesian island nation of Palau, who have travelled halfway around the world to participate in the program. This is part of an exchange agreement between the two governments that will see 21 Maldivians spend a year in Palau from this summer to start up a new Four Seasons venture. What a marvellous opportunity for the youth of both nations.”
The ceremony also welcomed the 2024 Apprenticeship intake of 69 students from across 30 islands.
“Celebrating dedication and drive, the 2023 graduates are equipped with a range of skills applicable across every area of the industry and beyond,” Four Seasons Resorts Maldives said.
Qualifications included Advanced Engineering with Level 4 certifications in Electrical Installation, Refrigeration and Air conditioning and Level 3 in Plumbing and Welding. The 2024 apprentices can look forward to the introduction of a new first-year module in Photography.
Accredited by the Government of Maldives since 2010, the Four Seasons Hospitality Apprenticeship is open to Maldivians aged 17 to 20, who meet a number of entry criteria, including fluency in written and spoken English as well as O’Level certifications. No previous work experience is required.
Training takes place five days a week and the apprentices live and work onsite at Four Seasons Resorts of Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru in the Maldives.
According to Four Seasons Resorts Maldives, “echoing the familial relationships that build amongst long-term staff at the resorts, the apprentices are supported throughout their learning experience.”
Performance appraisals and tests are taken at regular intervals to check if and when extra learning support is needed, and a buddy or mentor is assigned to each apprentice to offer encouragement and advice.
“Teamwork is at the core of all Four Seasons operations and the youngsters come away with an enhanced commitment to professionalism and perseverance for the good of the whole – an outlook that will serve them for life.”